Why do I have silverfish in my bathrooms?

Written by erin ringwald
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Why do I have silverfish in my bathrooms?
Silverfish often get stuck in sinks. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Any swarm of insects in your home is troublesome. Silverfish are no exception. You may not know you have invasion at first, since these insects hide. The exact origin of the infestation is often hard to pinpoint. Knowing about silverfish and the reason they infest helps you prepare to fight them.

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Silverfish are small silver-coloured insects ranging in size from a quarter to half an inch long. They tend to live in closets, bookshelves or anywhere in your home where there is food for them. They eat books, clothing or dry foods. Since they are nighttime bugs, you probably will not see them during the day. They also prefer areas of high humidity, which is why you often find them in your bathroom. Because they cannot scramble up smooth surfaces, they often become trapped in bathroom sinks and tubs. Finding a silverfish in your sink may be your first indication the bugs are present.


Since silverfish prefer a moist environment, using a ventilation fan cuts down on moisture in the air, making the bathroom less desirable to them. If the ventilation system is not operational and fixing it is not an option, place a dehumidifier in the room. This lowers the moisture content and makes the room less inviting. In addition, check the plumbing in the bathroom to ensure there are no leaks. Leaks add excess moisture and attract the bugs.


Cleaning not only your bathroom but also the rest of your home discourages silverfish. Silverfish eat books and magazines. Keep these picked up off the floor. Regularly move the books and magazines around on bookshelves, as well as in the bathroom, to keep silverfish out.


If cleaning and moisture reduction does not get rid of silverfish, use an insecticide to kill the bugs. Sprinkle dust versions around the cabinets in your bathroom. When the bugs encounter the dust, it kills them. Because the silverfish have to touch the dust for it to be effective, dust treatments generally take two weeks. Other options include bombs or sprays, both available at your local hardware store. These kill the bugs without contact. Alternatively, hire a professional pest exterminator to treat your home.

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